February 14th

God’s Mercy for Sinners 

19And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves." 20Then Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. 21And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. 22For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people. 1 Samuel 12:19-22 NKJV  

This passage really illustrates God’s merciful, forgiving nature.  Samuel had just helped the Israelites recognize their sin of asking for a king.  They had slapped God in the face, ignoring all the mighty works he did for them in delivering them from the Egyptians and bringing them in to the Promised Land.  Even after they had defiled themselves with foreign gods, sexual immorality and general rebellion, God still took pleasure in receiving them anew.   The Israelites were as bad as any group of people could be, yet God welcomed them back.  

Sex addicts may feel like they are among the worst of sinners.  They often believe they are hopelessly separated from God in committing sins that are unforgivable.  If that’s your situation, be encouraged that the same God who welcomed the rebellious Israelites welcomes you now in the name of Jesus Christ.  God allowed his own Son Jesus to die and rise to live again, so that you also can die to your sin and live a new life in righteousness!  Peter wrote: 

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”  1 Peter 2:24 NIV 

Jesus’ sacrifice for you and me WAS enough to pay for our sins – no matter how bad they may have been.  Don’t let anybody try to convince you that you have gone beyond forgiveness.  

The Lord invites you to now serve him with all of your heart and not turn aside.  Stop pursuing empty things like pornography and other sexual sin that cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.  The Lord will not forsake you when you follow him.  He is pleased to make you his people, and help you find true satisfaction and joy.  

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you for not giving up on me!  Thank you for extending your mercy and grace to me through Jesus Christ on the cross.  I confess my wickedness of heart to you; specifically in the areas of _______(list areas of rebellion).  I repent from those sins now.  Please forgive me and cleanse me by the blood of Jesus.  I surrender those pockets of rebellion and invite you to take control of my whole heart right now.  Please strengthen me to serve you with my whole heart and to not turn aside into sin.  Please create a passion in me for pursuing godliness, which will profit me in all ways both now and in eternity.  Thank you, Father!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”